Nightmare last night – all four tips lost, with Germany losing to Ireland in a drab performance. Poland drew 2-2 with Scotland, Gibraltar ended up with just one corner and were thumped 4-0 while Romania conceded just their 2nd goal in 9 qualifying games. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong!
Today I am sticking with a double, and will suggest two further games if anyone would prefer an accumulator:
1. England -2 Goal Handicap @ 5/4 vs Estonia (1945 KO, NAP)
With Rooney looking certain to miss out, I feel this will benefit England as he tends to slow things up. I remember the last game against Estonia – you had the younger players playing some lovely one-touch football, interchanging passing – and then it got to Wayne, who stopped, and sprayed it 30 yards out of play. Epitomises the two generations of footballers currently in the team.
Anyway – with Kane or Walcott likely to take his place, and Sterling, Oxlade Chamberlain and Townsend competing for a place on the wings – England should have pace in abundance, as well as creativity from the likes of Lallana, Barkley and Carrick behind that front three. Estonia cannot come to get a point – if they have an ambition to go to France next summer they need to win, which again will play into England’s hands. An easy 3-0 is what I see happening, with a penalty somewhere in there too.
2. Slovenia Win to Nil @ 13/10 vs Lithuania (1945 KO)
Slovenia have been quite good in this qualification period – taking Switzerland and England on, scoring 6 against those two in the process. They have dispatched of Lithuania, Estonia and San Marino in their other games and look a safe bet for 3rd and with a win here can confirm their playoff spot, should England beat Estonia. Lithuania have failed to score in 7 of their last 10 away games and did so too in the 2-0 reverse fixture. -1 is risky, as these teams can often be hard to break down – but when you have lost three of four away ties – two of which by four goals (a win against San Marino is barely anything to phone home about…). In short, Slovenia to win, and keep a clean sheet in the process.
That double pays around about 4/1 with Bet365 while if you want an accumulator add the following:
3. Slovakia -1 Goal Handicap @ 11/8
Very good at home – and beat Belarus 3-1 last time. Shouldn’t concede, and are likely to go for the win and qualify – as Ukraine have a similarly easy game. Must win game to secure 2nd spot!
4. Ukraine Win to Nil @ 7/5 vs Macedonia
Ukraine are not the highest scorers in the world, but have a solid defence and a creative attack. They need the win to try and steal 2nd from Slovakia, so will be well up for this game. Won with ease last time, and to nil against a poor Macedonian side. Yarmolenko a great shout as a goalscorer, though Jamie’s tips are coming up shortly
Accumulator pays 25/1 – small stakes advised because anything is possible with International football – however tonight has stronger sides vs weaker sides, and ones that should really win and win well. Last night had a lot of close games, hence more potential to go wrong.
Best of luck